As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been working in monochromatic a lot lately. I’ve also discovered a subject matter/genre combination that resonates well with me and I’ve been having fun exploring that.
The next series of images I’m planning to post will consist of architectural elements presented in an abstract way; that is, stripping the architecture down to basic elements of line, shape and form (as examples) and obscuring the parts of the building or surrounding environment that don’t convey the same simplicity of design. While a lot of people may look at abstract art and say, “I could do that” the typical tongue-in-cheek response is, “Yeah, but you didn’t!” Don’t be fooled by the simplicity; sometimes the hardest part of art composition is keeping it simple so that the design is strong and effective.
For me this process starts with observing something (or, rather, a part of something) that is interesting to me and then studying it to see whether the surrounding elements add or distract from what I like about it. Then the process of exclusion (or, if you prefer, selective inclusion) begins. I search for the right camera angle and experiment with how the lines and shapes interact with the four edges of the frame. For images like this one that have strong geometry I like to try and make it as perfectly aligned as I can within the frame, playing off the strong symmetrical balance that caught my eye in the first place. In the end, I want my photographs to be believable (i.e., I don’t want anyone to mistake it for a computer-generated image or a “Photoshopped” composite) but still grab your attention with a graphic quality that makes you wonder what the original subject matter was prior to abstraction. I want to make my design as perfect as I can so that there are no questions about the fact that it was intentional; however, make no mistake, I do this in the camera, not by manipulating the image in software.
Anyhow, I’m not sure how well this style I’m developing will be received but it suits me somehow and I am enjoying the exploration of it.
5D Mk III with 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens. ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/500 sec.
© 2013 Johnny Kerr Photography